Time running out for Israel and peace talks

Time running out for Israel and peace talks

By Editorial Board, Christian Science Monitor

 

8.4.2011
via Christian Science Monitor (click for original)


EXCERPT
In the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, it has worked to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s advantage to play for time. It has kept him in power and his conservative coalition government together. But time is no longer on Mr. Netanyahu’s side. A wave of change is coming in the Middle East and at the United Nations, where the Palestinians are building support for a September bid to win UN recognition of a Palestinian state. Far better for the Israeli prime minister to ride this wave, than to be battered by it. Palestinians have been buoyed by statehood endorsements from countries that aren’t automatic sympathizers, such as Brazil and Argentina. This week, the Palestinians received a big boost from the International Monetary Fund. The fund released a report saying that the Palestinian Authority – which governs the occupied West Bank – is “now able to conduct the sound economic policies expected of a future well-functioning Palestinian state.” It must be remembered that a resolution on statehood would be brought before the General Assembly, where majority rules with no big-power vetoes. It’s not as if the United States could come to the rescue with a veto – though it could certainly twist arms.....
Were the Israelis to agree to this starting place, it would be incumbent on the Palestinians to negotiate seriously, and meet Israel’s security needs. A violent flare-up of rocket attacks from Gaza and counterattacks from Israel is a stark reminder of Israel’s real security concerns.
Mr. Obama must again push hard on the negotiation front. Yes, he has a lot on his plate, and he just began his reelection campaign. But now is not the time for his signature ponderous caution. Events are moving quickly, and Netanyahu is swimming against history. His US ally needs to get him up on his board, riding with the wave. To read the entire article, click here.